In U.S. Information Blockade Civilian Death Statistics Kept Unreported

Figures on civilian deaths in Iraq as a result of American bombardments are kept unreported "in conditions or U.S.-engineered information blockade," said Valery Manilov at a RIA Novosti press conference on Friday. He is the first deputy chairman of the defense and security committee of the Federation Council.

It would be naive to think that the first bombardments of Iraq have not entailed any victims, he stressed.

In the opinion of the Russian parliamentarian with a large military experience behind him, during bomb attacks "Americans fear to fly at low altitudes, which Iraqi air defense can reach. This prevents pinpoint bombing. Mistakes are multiplied also because of haze, smoke and sand storms." As a result, "bombs are dropped on houses", he added.

The United States is using Iraq as a proving ground for new weapons, such as superheavy bombs.

Describing the arms and heavy military hardware ratio between the allies and Iraq, Manilov said that, in his estimation, this quantitative and qualitative ratio is "at least five to one". He cited these data: the allies have concentrated in the region 280,000 men, over 100 warships, more than 700 modern warplanes including Stealth, between 1,000 and 3,000 air-, land- and ship-based cruise missiles.

However, Americans are in a much worse psychological position, "dictated by fear of losses and hardships of war," he said. "This is why they seek to suppress the enemy and rid him of willpower," noted Manilov.